As the base continues to deepen at Bridger Bowl and Crosscut Mountain Sports, the Cats let the nation know that they are a serious force to be reckoned with. This past weekend, Feb. 8, the MSU Nordic ski team competed in the Aspen RMISA Qualifier. The hometown heroes are prepared to host this year’s NCAA Skiing National Championships after competing in one of their last opportunities to earn qualification points in Aspen, Colo.

Zanden McMullen, a freshman from Anchorage, Alaska, led the Cats on Saturday, Feb. 8 by finishing fifth in the men’s 10 km freestyle event. McMullen crossed the finish line with a time of 30:03.5. Freshman Bernhard Flaschberger of the University of Denver finished with a time of 28:48.3 to win the race. MSU sophomore Ti Donaldson finished eighth with a time of 30:08.9, his first top-ten finish of the season. 

Another freshman from Anchorage, Aubrey Leclair, led the MSU women in the 5 km freestyle, where she finished in ninth place by posting a time of 17:19.9. Senior Anna Fake slipped just outside the top ten, finishing in eleventh place with a time of 17:23.3.

On Sunday, Feb. 9, the Bobcats broke through to the podium following the 21 km classic at the RMISA. Yet another product of the Anchorage to Bozeman pipeline, senior Emma Tarbath took third by finishing with a time of 1:24:23.9, just over a minute behind the winner, freshman Eveliina Piippo of DU. McMullen once again made his presence felt, finishing fifth in the men’s 21 km classic with a time of 1:11:20.5, just behind the leader, freshman Magnus Boee of Colorado, who finished with 1:10:28.3.

The Cats will head to the beehive state this weekend, where they will take part in the University of Utah Invitational at Soldier Hollow. As the season nears its conclusion at the NCAA Championship in Bozeman, Mar. 11-14, make sure to follow along as we continue to cover yet another Bobcat team’s road to the National Championship. Go Cats!

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